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A lot of outstanding Burgundy has been produced in the last ten years. It used to be said that any given decade usually yielded only two or three really high quality vintages—the region's climate was too marginal to provide anything more consistent. And there is no doubt that as the earth has warmed, it has been easier to achieve better base ripeness and alcohol levels, reducing the need to chaptalize. And for all the problems that growers in Burgundy have been through—frost, then hail, then intense, scorching heat, then still more hail and frost, rinse repeat—it's hard to deny that the overall quality level has been high.
But even in this run of excellent vintages, there are some that stand out. I'm especially partial to 2014 and 2016. I have spent some weeks cobbling together a passel of wines from these two years to offer out today.
2014 was marked by a tremendous hail storm that decimated parts of the Côte de Beaune, and a wet July and August that caused considerable rot up and down the Côte d'Or and required careful triage during harvest. However, a dry sunny September and steady winds helped clean things up. Overall, the wines that came out of this are joyful and balanced, with excellent terroir expression and very good potential for aging.
2016 is harder to summarize but it was largely a mess. The spring began with hail in some places, as well as rain, and these were followed by terrible frost that decimated young shoots. These events, alonside a steady stream of wet weather until late June, ultimately reduced yields by as much as eighty percent in some places. However, from this point, a generally sunny and dry summer produced some fantastic wines. Reds in particular have both excellent precision and concentration, as well as incredible purity of fruit.
Some of the producers on offer today will be very familiar to anyone following our Burgundy program, some less so. Many of them were wine list staples in my former life and all of them have been doing outstanding work over the last ten years. Any of the wines on this list today will be a terrific addition to your cellar. Sam Ehrlich
** ALL OF THESE ARE PRE-ARRIVAL WINES AND WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PICK-UP OR DELIVERY NEXT WEEK**